PHD #216: Trust is a Rare Commodity
Trust is a Rare Commodity
Summary: Andrea doesn't find it in long supply aboard the Cerberus. But, she's still fit to fight and fly.
Date: 30 Sep 2041 AE
Related Logs: Fly Away Home Part 2
Andrea Cidra 
Officer's Brig - Deck 6 - Battlestar Cerberus
These pair of cells are roomier than one might expect. Each one is provided individual access by a door at the front, located on the other side of the room from the hatch. Each one essentially an armored glass cage, this area is walked and guarded by Marines day and night. Privacy not being a huge concern for prisoners, inside the cell is a single bunk and toilet in full view with nothing else. All visitors must sign-in with the Marine at the desk. Cameras are located at the entrance and on the cell itself, everything recorded onto disk in the Security Hub.
Post-Holocaust Day: #216

The atmosphere in the Brig is a little strange. Andrea sits in a cell with an unlocked door, marines around if not precisely keyed onto her. It has all the atmosphere of people who know that the prisoner in their custody is about to become an officer, and want things to be cool while they still do their job. Her story has checked out as far as can be reasonably measured, and barring the paranoia of Pallas, nothing seems to be against her. All it takes now is someone with some authority making the call, and that someone has been summoned. Andrea, for her part, sits quietly, appreciating the show of faith and not wanting to make anyone regret it.

Cidra is in her flight gear as she enters the brig, stopping briefly to speak with the PFC on guard duty. She must have come recently off CAP, as her dark hair is in rather a sweaty, flyaway mess. The woman's features are carefully composed but, more than anything, she just looks puzzled. And curious. Very curious. "I thank you, Private," she says, making her way back to where Andrea is housed. For a moment she just stands there, hands folded in front of her, watching the woman with her cloudy blue eyes. So does not immediately say anything. She just looks.

As the newcomer arrives, complete with flight suit, Andrea's eyes flick to the collar and then widen. She starts to snap to attention, thinks better of it, and does so slowly, standing and saluting, doing everything she can to not appear to be a threat. "Sir."

Cidra is still quiet for a beat. Just watching Andrea. Like she's trying to weigh her with her eyes. Though it's hard to tell what she makes of her. The woman's features are well-schooled. "What are you?" That is the only question for the moment.

Andrea holds the salute, having not been returned to ease. "Lt. Andrea Demarcos, sir. Formerly assigned to Battlestar Volans. I was born on Aerilon to Andrew and Dorothy Demarcos, and enlisted with the fleet at the age of 20. Sir." There is another long pause. "I… I am human, sir."

The salute is acknowledged fluidly by Cidra and Andrea is offered an "As you were." Though all she says to the answer is, "Ah." A short, soft little 'Ah.' Noting the information. Again, hard to tell what she makes of it. "I am Major Cidra Hahn. Callsign Toast. I am commander of the air group here. I am told my Lieutenant Ellinon is…familiar with you."

Andrea goes to ease, and then sighs, her look is sad. "Spiral never could trust, and I cannot imagine that Cylons who look human…" that particular nugget had been shared with her after the eighth time she asked why people seemed to think she might be made of chrome, "have made it better. My callsign is 'Hosedown'. He gave it to me."

"Did he now?" Cidra smiles the very slightest of smiles. Though it doesn't quite touch her cloudy blue eyes. "Well. None of us should trust easy these days. The paradox, you see, is that there is really know way to tell a human from an abomination." Her lips twist in a sneer at the word 'abomination.' Her own little pet name for the skinjobs, apparently. It is filled with not but scorn. Still, her face remains inscrutable as to Andrea herself. "So we have little choice but to trust. If one stops to think about it too long, it shall drive one mad." She looks away from the woman then. Back to the PFC. "Her papers are settled, I trust? I shall sign her out." The Marine nods, and the cell is opened.

As the door is pulled to wide open, Andrea slowly steps out, carefully, slowly, not wanting to overstep her bounds. Walking over to the duty officer, she gestures questioningly to a duffel bag, which is brought over as the CAG signs the papers. She slings it over her shoulder, then stand quietly. If she is going to be flying under a Major, best not to speak until spoken to, at least for now. Trust is too delicate.

Cidra finishes Andrea's papers in short order, signaturing them in neat, flowing script. "Let us leave this place. Walk with me, please." A gesture, and she waits for the lieutenant to fall into step alongside her. "Let us see what you know of Vipers. That, at least, one can verify."

*OOC: vroom!*

Flight Simulation - Deck 11 - Battlestar Cerberus
A training room specifically dedicated to honing aerial skills, this area is equipped with several flight simulator pods that allow the pilots to practice maneuvers and tactics without being in a real live plane. The Viper-pods are installed on one side of the room with a little space between them, an attempt to provide a realistic feel for close-range wing training, while a smaller number of Raptor sim-pods are installed on the opposite side of the room from the Vipers. A central computer terminal and overhead display screen sits at the head of the room, where one can input exercises and data to be run in the sims, scroll through score records, and control the training modules.
Post-Holocaust Day: #216

Cidra does not speak as she leads Andrea through the corridors and stairwells of the battlestar. The CAG, at least, is not one bothered by quiet. As she enters the simulator room, she motions to one of the Viper pods. It's much like any other training simulator Andrea might be familiar with, if far smaller than anything that would be found on a planet-side airbase. Aboard ship, one can only do so much. "Get the pod powered up. So. Why did Spiral call you Hosedown?" As she waits for an answer, she goes to the control panel to fiddle with the training settings. Get the exercise she wants to run up.

Having lived alone for more than 200 days, Andrea has gotten pretty good at dealing with quiet, as well. She goes to the indicated pod, and takes her time getting reacquainted with the tech. Best to do it right, rather than fast. "I had just arrived on the Volans. The Raptor jock who brought me in wasn't used to hands on approach… nothing else on the old Galactica-class Battlestars… and scorched the frak out of the deck. Set of fire alarms. No damage was done to the bird itself, but as I got off an over-excited knuckledragger sprayed me with fire-foam, just as Spiral was coming over to greet me formally." She shrugs.

Andrea climbs into Sim-01-540.
You climb into Sim-02-541.

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] Cidra heads over to take another Viper pod, adjacent to Andrea's, once she's got the program she wants queued up. A soft, throaty chuckle, and wince at the story. "Worse ways to earn one. And it has a certain ring to it. What made you want to join up? Fly Vipers, that is?" She goes through the standard 'pre flight' as she talks, which in this case consists of powering up the pod and getting it ready to faux-run.

[Sim-01-540: Andrea] Andrea automatically goes into her pre-flight, slightly slowed down by needing to regain familiarity with the machine. It has been some time. "Vipers were why I signed up, sir. I was in a bar near home when some Viper Jocks came in, looking like the Gods' gift. One talked about flying to try to get me to spread my wings, instead he inspired me to enlist. After he picked up my tab, of course." She smiles. "Been looking to be a snake jockey ever since."

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] Cidra gets another laugh out of that, which is broadcast over their little inter-sim microphone 'comm.' "Viper jocks do like to try and get girls to spread their wings bars. I would chide them for it, save it usually works very well." In any case. "Hosedown, Toast. I am green to launch. Let us take it up. I shall fly your wing. You have lead." And thus, she launches.

[Sim-01-540: Andrea] "Toast, Hosedown. My board is green as well, launching. I have lead, confirmed." Her hand grips the stick, and she smiles. She is home.

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] Cidra works the controls to slip her ship into formation with Andrea. "Hosedown, Toast. I am on your six." A pause and she adds, "Program is standard air patrol. Mitrex System near Libran. We have some rather interesting combat exercises, but those we can explore later. I just do want to see how you fly. How long has it been since you were up in one of the dogfighters?"

[Sim-01-540: Andrea] Andrea nods as she pulls her Viper into a standard CAP formation. She never flew the Mitrex system but a CAP is a CAP, right? The question catches her off guard, and she takes a moment to answer. "I… well… one moment, I guess…" Is that all? Not even a standard year, yet. It felt longer. "228 days, sir."

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] "Good handling. Not like the real thing though, is it?" The program Cidra chose is a simple one. Quiet system, minimum DRADIS interference. As if she was just interested in seeing if the woman could really fly. Or was interested in being able to chat during this thing. "Volans, you said? That your last assignment?"

[Sim-01-540: Andrea] Andrea keeps an eye on her DRADIS as they fly about. It was almost like CAP, not much to do but fly in circles and chat with wingmates. "No, sir, not like the real thing at all." She nods to herself. "Yeah, the Volans. Ricketty old bitch. She was home, though. I stayed with the skeleton crew after she was decomissioned, all the way until I got my eltee stripes and they shipped me out."

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] "That is a long time to be with a ship," Cidra says. Curious but, particularly over the mic, it's still hard to tell from her tone what she makes of it. "I did move around quite a bit in my years in the Fleet, for my part. Did my flight training on Scorpia, then the Battlestar Columbia. Carrier called the Marsyas after that. Then the Aegean. Then a stretch at Fleet Headquarters. Now…as you see me." A pause as she maneuvers to arc in the first of those circles a blip behind Andrea. "I am Raptor pilot by training. Qualified on Vipers before I took this assignment but…it is the buses that are my expertise. This, I do not deny."

[Sim-01-540: Andrea] "You cross-trained?" Andrea is audibly surprised. "Not many do that. I had a bus driver as a CAG for a few months on the Volans, Capt. Edric Amalla. "Cork." He's a…" she breaks of a bit, then shakes her head. She doesn't know for sure that he is dead, after all. The present tense may well be appropriate."Is a good man, and one hell of a pilot. Other than him, though, I always flew for Viper Jocks."

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] "Not many Raptor jocks get CAG spots on battlestars," Cidra says. "Carriers more often. Assaultstars more than one would think, as Marine ground drops usually mean a larger contingent of buses than birds. Battlestars were made to launch Vipers. Also…they are plumb assignments. And Fleet Command, like battlestar CAG posts, is filled with ex-Viper jocks. I cross-trained when I put in for the Cerberus post. I knew I needed to have more of an understanding of Viper tactics if I was to lead them. And I did not think, I must admit, I would have a shot if I were not qualified on the little birds."

[Sim-01-540: Andrea] "Makes sense, sir." Andrea keeps her circles regulation for now, almost as if… she smiles… almost as if she was riding CAG with a Major on her ass. "Both politically and strategically, I mean. And it has to be wonderful, now. Having you available for whatever bird they need flown, I mean. I could a Raptor where it was going, but it wouldn't look pretty…"

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] "I stick to flying Raptors, mainly," Cidra says wryly. "Oh, I take my turn in the CAP rotations, but I know where I am of most use. I prefer to let those who know their business better than me take the lead in Viper matters. Speaking of. Hosedown, Toast. Sector reading clear. Permission to take one more pass and then head back down?"

[Sim-01-540: Andrea] "Toast, Hoesdown. Sounds good to me, one more pass and we can RTB." You can only fly so many circles, after all. Another glance at the empty DRADIS confirms it all.

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] "Copy that, Hosedown," Cidra affirms. With that, she brings her ship 'in' after Andrea's as the exercise concludes.

As the simulation shuts down, Andrea climbs out of the rig, smiling softly to herself. No, it wasn't the real thing, but it was closer than she had been for the better part of a year. And that was nice.

Cidra slips out of her pod after she's done the post-flight power-down, leaning against it as she watches Andrea exit. "Well. You know your business. Your story checked out, so that was never really in doubt. Your qualifications, that is." A pause, however. "What have you been told of the abominations?" The humanoid Cylons, she means. But that is always the word for them from her.

Andrea frowns. "I… assume you mean…" What else could it mean? "I only learned yesterday, sir. About the Cylons that look human. That they infiltrated us which was why they got the drop on us. And that others waited even longer. Pallas said that you've had to kill crew members." No wonder trust was at a premium these days.

"When this ship launched from drydock, there was a pilot aboard. Lieutenant in Black Knights. Distinguished career. He had come with squadron when it was assigned here, actually. Personnel file said he had a wife back on Virgon. Name was Lieutenant Ryan Shaker. Callsign Salt." Cidra draws his name out slow, her accent seeming to want to linger on the vowels. Make them longer and soften the consonants. "He flew with us for nearly a month during carrier qualifications. When we returned to Picon…that was the night the Cylons attacked. He launched alongside all of my Knights. My Petrels. My Harriers. My Checkmates. My…" There's a catch in her voice and she makes her stop naming squadrons. The Cerberus was made to carry twice as many pilots as are aboard now. "He was killed in the initial attacks. Killed flying into the teeth of the enemy. Guns blazing against the Raiders. I close my eyes, I can still see him, fighting and flying. Defending his ship as a Viper pilot should. That was not seven months gone." A pause and she adds flatly, "Salt died that night. And yet, not four month later upon Leonis, a ground team we had sent there saw him. It. A copy of him. There are none aboard this ship I trust as much as my pilots. And one of them was an abomination."

Andrea nods, slowly. "Spiral knew me, trusted me as much as he trusted anybody, believes I am dead, and then there is my face again." She takes a deep breath. "I am who I am, Major. I cannot prove it anymore than it has already been proven, but I understand the… caution."

Cidra does pause as Andrea talks, but she picks up right on again after that. "There was another. It posed as a deck technician." 'It' for this one, firmly, though she vacillated back and forth when talking of the one called Salt. "Petty Officer Lessa Morgenfield. For months it put her hands on our birds. And it was found that it sabotaged them. Filled out breathing kits with poison, one pilot dead, CAP pull of others nearly so. Put a bomb under one of our Vipers that nearly killed one of my squadron leaders. Two more of our planes were bombed. Gone now, no way to prove it with the pilots dead, but it was likely her work. And on Sagittaron one of the civilians there called another of our deck technicians….Crewman Lauren Coll…called her an abomination. No way to tell if she was or not, really, though she could have easily had her hand in any of the incidents that harmed me and mine. All the cation in the worlds, Hosedown, and it will do you little good in the end. We have to trust the deck technicians to keep our planes flying. We have to trust each other to guard our six when the Raiders come. We are all that is left, and try as we might caution is a joke in the face of such things."

Andrea frowns as the Major speaks. "You are not worried about whether or not you can trust me… but rather reminding me that I have to trust others?" She isn't sure if she is following. Not having much of anyone to talk to for months makes her wonder if she is doing it right.

"I do want you to have a full grasp of what these things have done," Cidra says. "And the precariousness of our situation. The truth of it is, Lieutenant Demarcos, I know not if you are a human woman or an abomination. I cannot know. The Marines can interrogate you again, for days, and they will never know for certain beyond what they can verify of your background. Well. Salt had a record as fine as you please. He was still an abomination. So. We are left with this. I do not know you. Do I trust you yet? No. Certainly not. You have no reason to trust me either. I tell my people this. You shall fly with many in your days you do not particular like when you land. But you respect the rank, you respect the wings, as we all share the duty of protecting a ship. And that is no small thing. As for trust…trust you earn, and it is no easy thing. I shall respect you have the right, and the duty, to fly with us. You shall earn our trust. And, I hope, I shall in time earn yours in turn."

Andrea nods, then salutes. "I understand, I think. It is an honor to fly with you and yours, Major. I'd still be trapped in that rotted out freighter without you all… I will do everything I can to earn your trust." Sadly, her own trust was largely already given. Human looking Cylons, Abominations… they just didn't feel real, at least not yet. She did not look forward to the day they did. "Thank you, sir, for the opportunity."

Cidra acknowledges the salute fluidly. "We need all the sticks we can get, Hosedown. I do the best I can with the pieces I am given." Despite the words, it is said with the slightest of smiles. Though there's some sadness behind it. "I am slotting in to fly with the Black Knights for now." 'Salt' Shaker's squadron. A bit of macabre humor, perhaps? Hard to tell with her. "Things are…unsettled with the Knights just now, but I shall sort them out before we leave Aerilon. Captain Aron Matise is managing the pilots there. Your senior pilots are Lieutenant Sophronia, Lieutenant McQueen and Lieutenant Ellinon." Yes, Pallas. "Look to them for direction. I shall see about getting you a space in berthings, and by tomorrow we shall get you flying a proper Viper again. Clear eyes and steady hands."

"Yes, sir. Thank you sir." Andrea is almost tearing up, now. She is going to be able to fly again.

"I shall show you to your bunk," Cidra says without further ado. Striding out of the sims, and motioning for Andrea to follow once more.

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